Blogs from Lamu, Coast Province, Kenya, Africa


Africa » Kenya » Coast Province » Lamu January 4th 2014

Well, we are sitting here on our private rooftop lounge as the sun slowly sets over the historic fort and the old town of Lamu, with the iman’s call to prayer echoing out from a nearby mosque. Down below, a bunch of local men play checkers, veiled women chatter animatedly and a couple of kids lead their rather good-natured donkeys home for the day… After quite a hectic year, especially so for Jane, we were determined to begin our trip with a week in a relaxed and slow-paced environment. Thus, our first port of call after overnighting in Nairobi was the tiny island of Lamu, a Swahili settlement that is Kenya’s oldest continuously inhabited town, having first been mentioned in the annals of history in the 1300s, although rumours persist of an older community, now long ... read more
Lamu's main square
Donkey in Lamu
Our Lamu home and the Fort

Africa » Kenya » Coast Province » Lamu December 25th 2012

Resumo: Uau! Que lugares lindos!!!; Passei o natal sozinha; "I am a dreamer"; Estou bem. Todo o dia 25 é dia de reflexão profunda. Hoje fez 6 meses de viagem. Em 25 de junho deste ano peguei o meu vôo para Punta Cana >> Haiti. Tantas coisas aconteceram desde então. Impossível eu sentir arrempedimento da minha decisão. Agora por exemplo, estou escrevendo olhando para o mar .. brisa na cara .. milhoes de estrelas no ceu .. lua quase cheia .. barulho dos burrinhos (ok, tem um montao de pernilongos também). Como é Natal, resolvi pagar 'caro' por 2 dias. R$30/diaria em um hotel com cafe da manhã e vista para o mar. Mereço estes 2 dias de conforto. Pena que passei sozinha. =( Tentei visitar alguns orfanatos, mas eles estavam fechados (onde estão as crianças? ... read more
Diani - Coral Reef
Kilifi - Bamboo shower
Watamu - David .. my friend

Africa » Kenya » Coast Province » Lamu April 29th 2012

I had heard the bus to Lamu from Mombasa could be a bit of a nightmare, but mine was fairly straightforward and I arrived in Mokowe after less than 6 hours. The only way to get to Lamu from there is by boat and I took a speedboat, which took about 10 minutes. Lamu appears from behind a forest and immediately struck me as somewhere completely unique. I checked into a hotel and managd to dodge a few touts who harrassed me to go on a dhow trip with them the following day. I bumped into Michelle, an Irish girl, who I had met in Mombasa and had dinner with her, Anna a Spanish girl and two German couples. Lamu is fairly quiet, but I was happy to have an early night anyway. The last morning ... read more
Photo 9
Photo 2
Photo 3

Africa » Kenya » Coast Province » Lamu March 3rd 2011

I'm not sure whether I should write about Lamu in my blog. It seems to be unheard of outside Kenya - hidden behind the plains of the Masai Mara, the beaches of Mombasa, and the peak of Mt. Kenya, doesn't appear on package tours or safaris - and therefore seems to have remained under the radar of most mainstream tourism. And thankfully so, for here, just off the northern Kenyan coast, just 40 miles from Somalia, is a little piece of car-free paradise that the world is yet to discover. I'd be lying if I said it's not touristy - the number of smart hotels and restaurants on the sea front prove that it is - and it is the talk of the town in the backpacker hostels in Nairobi, but it's managed to keep it's ... read more
In the dock
Where no cars go
Putting the world to rights, as you watch life go by,

Africa » Kenya » Coast Province » Lamu February 1st 2011

Frutto di una attenta pianificazione e fortunosamente privo di rilevanti inconvenienti, il viaggio del Mercante si conclude così come era cominciato, cioè sulle calde sponde dell' Oceano Indiano, tra l' azzurro del mare, il verde delle palme e la bianca sabbia delle sterminate spiagge della costa del Kenya. Ma cosa raccontare di due settimane trascorse a rosolare sdraiato sotto il sole equatoriale?? Prima di congedarmi proverò a fare un breve riassunto dei posti da me visitati... MOMBASA: Città swahili di antiche origini, è oggi il porto principale del paese e porta d' accesso alla costa; la sua città vecchia ricorda molto da vicino la Stone Town di Zanzibar, anche se in un tono decisamente più dimesso, ma rimarrà nei miei ricordi soprattutto per l' ottimo cibo che si può trovare nei suoi numerosi ristoranti e per ... read more
Lamu: dhow per viaggiare in mare
Mombasa: zanne in alto all' indipendenza!
Mtwapa: gli ultimi giorni africani del Mercante

Africa » Kenya » Coast Province » Lamu July 28th 2010

I was starting to feel like I was spending entirely too much time in Nairobi, even though I had been coming and going. So I decided to head for the coast. I had heard good things about Lamu, an island to the North, and since Maria and Soren (a German couple from Wildebeest Camp) were heading there, I decided to pass through Mombasa and go straight there. We all had first class tickets for the train, which included dinner and breakfast. It's a fifteen hour ride that goes through the night, and you arrive in Mombasa around 9:30AM. Each cabin had relatively comfortable bunk beds, a sink, closet, and fan that didn't work because the train was made in the '60's. The train was set to leave the station at 7PM. I was sprawled out on ... read more
Nairobi Railway Station
Soren and Maria
View from the train

Africa » Kenya » Coast Province » Lamu July 2nd 2010

Jambo from Kenya. The first couple of days travelling in Kenya were nothing short of the hardest two days we have had on our trip. It all started in Moyale, a town split by the border. After only finding disgusting accommodation riddled with cockroaches and our favourite, unclean communal toilets (an Ethiopian specialty) on the Ethiopian side we decided to risk it and cross the border hoping for something better, the problem being there was only one daily bus out of the place and it had long gone by the time we got there from Yabelo. We had no problems crossing the border, this is one that we were nervous about as they have had sporadic banditry right up to Moyale in the past, so getting across this with no hassle was a relief, although there ... read more
Enjoying delicious pizza in Malindi
The donkeys of Lamu
Watching the football and enjoying a nice cold beer

Africa » Kenya » Coast Province » Lamu April 29th 2010

April 29th Rain rain rain, go away and come again another day. That was what Victor and I were singing as the dhow left for the island of Mandatoto. We had some breakfast on the boat with the crew of four and another passenger, an older lady from Hamburg, Germany named Fraukas. The captain of the ship was Simba and he had been in the business for about 20 years. His crew were two 18 year old guys that run around the boat and managed the sails like it was in their DNA, along with them was a 14 year old named Abu who had the day off from school and wanted to get some practice in (and probably earn a buck or two as well). It rained the whole way to the snorkel spot but ... read more
2-Goodbye Lamu, for now
3-Victor praising the sun for coming out
4-Abu the 14 year old cleaning the fish

Africa » Kenya » Coast Province » Lamu April 6th 2010

Paradise Lost A conceptual image of Paradise is reality, but can only be found within the architectural framework of an idealist’s imagination. Just as Happiness and Sadness, Good and Evil—these concepts do not exist, yet are everywhere. They are undiscoverable, can’t by found, hidden from the materialistic world; but they simply wait, readily available to be experienced whenever the heart is open and the mind is broad. In The Island of Lost Maps, author Miles Harvey states: These days… not even the truest of true believers would dare to put Paradise on a map. Yet despite the cynicism of our age, we humans have not lost our urge to quest after that place of perfect contentment, never quite finding it but never giving up hope, sometimes drawing so near that we can almost smell the faint ... read more
Mr. Mornin' Veg
Purple T-shirts
Midnight Bliss

Africa » Kenya » Coast Province » Lamu January 7th 2010

Nach der rasanten Busfahrt von Malindi und einer ziemlich nassen Bootsfahrt zur Insel Lamu, sind wir tatsaechlich auch angekommen: Wir steigen aus dem Boot und werden erst einmal von Beach Boys belagert. Jeder moechte unsere Rucksaecke tragen, um ein paar Groschen zu verdienen. Das ist eigentlich ganz gut, aber leider halten unsere kenianischen Rucksaecke das nicht aus und beide reissen noch auf dem Weg zum Hotel. Na ja, was solls, wir sind ja erst einmal angekommen. Ab hier laueft die Zeit noch ein bisschen langsamer. Auf Laum gibt es keine Autos. Entweder man laeuft, faehrt ein Boot oder reitet einen Esel. Kein Wunder, dass man hier nicht so sehr in Eile ist... wie auch. Die Strassen in Lamu haben Eselbreite. Es vielmehr enge und verwinkelte Gassen, in denen sich Esel und Menschen aneinander vorbei schieben. Die ... read more

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